revised on 2019-10-02
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 16th November 1961
Nibbāna is cool and peaceful nature; stable and not perishable. It’s without form and shape. You have the view of annihilation (uccheda diṭṭhi) if you don’t understand Nibbāna. It is uccheda to take the peacefulness of the arahants as nothing existing.
(Some later Buddhists even taking the arahants as symbol of selfishness, it was totally wrong. They don’t know that even the Buddha was an arahant.)
You can’t realize Nibbāna with wrong view because it’s the dhamma rejected by Nibbāna. People don’t like it if nothing exists. But they like the heavenly world and mansions which are arisen by cause and effect relationship. Nibbāna is apaccaya — causeless phenomenon.
It doesn’t have any connection with kamma, mind, temperature and foods. If it has connection with them will also perish. There are two causes; the causes of becoming and arriving. So, Nibbāna is the cause of arriving there and not becoming. It’s apaccaya and asaṅkhata — free from conditions (from Dhammasaṅgaṇi).
Every day of your contemplation with the knowledge of impermanence is the cause for arriving there. Even the Buddha was not arising, Nibbāna exists anytime. It’s atthi-presence, ajataṁ — undying, abhūtaṁ — unmade, asaṅkhataṁ — uncondition (from Udāna Pali).
A person who wants to get out from the saṅkhata province can arrive to Nibbāna. If not, he will not arrive there. Nibbāna always exists as a natural phenomenon. Then, why could people arrive there only after the Buddha arose in this world? (except the Paccekabuddha).
Only the Buddha could teach the dhamma to arrive there. The Buddha taught about it, so people could practice and arrive there. You have to ride on the maggan train (with the path factors). There are different kinds of train: Trains to good destinations (sugati) and bad destinations (dugati).
Without the Buddha arising, living beings are riding these two trains in turn. Asking you to contemplate saṅkhata dhamma, it does want you to see impermanence, its disenchantment and freedom from it. The reason of wanting you to do vipassanā is to come out from saṅkhata, and the knowledge need to be sharper. I am asking you about the ending of impermanence which is the same as the ending of saṅkhata.
The asaṅkhata is close to the ending of saṅkhata. Therefore the Buddha in the Saṃyutta Nikāya said that Nibbāna was near (Nibbānaseva santike) (Sayadaw gave an example for this point). At first, pictures are arising and disappearing one by one on the movie screen. After the movie ends the white movie screen appears. Why can’t we see Nibbāna? Because you can’t overcome saṅkhata. Don’t talk about overcoming it. Even very few people are seeing impermanence.
Is it too far that not arriving to Nibbāna? Is it too close and don’t know how to find it? You don’t know how to find it. You are retreating because of too far. It’s too close and you don’t look for it. And then you turn towards pāramī — perfection for the reason. In the Pesakopedasa Text (a commentary) it was mentioned as, listening to the sacca dhamma (teachings on truth) and paying attention to sacca dhamma will realize it.
It is too close and it is very bad that you can’t reach there. Therefore spiritual friend (kalyāṇa-mitta) is very important. You must get this maggan train for yourself. In the whole saṁsāra beings were riding the wrong trains and encountered sufferings. Don’t ride the downwards train (dugati) and upwards train (sugati). But you have to ride the middle train (i.e., maggan).
The Buddha taught three kinds of dhamma, but you have to take the best one. (Continued the six attributes of Dhamma). Ehi passiko is object (ārammaṇa) and sandiṭṭhiko is contemplative knowledge (ārammaṇika). That is seeing saṅkhata. Saṅkhata covers up Nibbāna. Again, ignorance covers up saṅkhata and not seeing it. Kilesa covers up dukkha and dukkha covers up Nibbāna. It can be also taken as kilesa covers up knowledge (ñāṇa).
With kilesa covering on knowledge, you are still not seeing impermanence. Therefore samādhi is important. It can push away kilesa for some time and seeing impermanence. If you still can’t contemplate disenchantment of impermanence and not wanting of them, saṅkhata (dukkha) still covers it. Therefore you have to practice and not by prayers to arrive Nibbāna.
So, kilesa and dukkha cover Nibbāna and we can’t see it. Only those who can uncover kilesa and dukkha become diṭṭhadhamma — Dhamma been seen by oneself. (Sayadaw mentioned sotāpanna’s qualities). You have not yet overcome kilesa if you still have not seen impermanence. Hence, you still can’t penetrate dukkha and see Nibbāna. But Nibbāna will be near if you have seen impermenace and penetrated dukkha.
revised on 2019-10-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4091&p=35770#p35770 (posted on 2019-01-14)
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